Third Pakistani Nuclear Reactor Operational In Khushab

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Neo, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s third plutonium-producing reactor is in service at its Khushab nuclear site, according to the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), and is likely to have already produced fuel.

    The IPFM is “an independent group of arms-control and nonproliferation experts from both nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states” and highlighted the latest developments in Pakistan’s plutonium program in a June 30 IPFM blog entry.

    Using commercial satellite imagery from March 2013 and December 2013, it says the Khushab III reactor now appears operational due to water vapor rising from its cooling towers, but the Khushab IV reactor is still under construction.

    It goes on to say, “If Khushab-III began operating in early 2013, the first batch of its spent fuel could have been taken out already, cooled and become available to be reprocessed in 2014 or possibly 2015.”

    It bases its assessments on the three operating reactors having a power of 40-50 megawatts, in which case, operating at 50 percent capacity, they could each produce 5.7 to 7.1 kilograms of weapon grade plutonium per year.

    At 80 percent capacity they could each produce 9 to 11.5 kilograms of plutonium.

    Based on these calculations, IPFM estimates Pakistan has accumulated about 170 kilograms of plutonium from the Khushab I and Khushab II reactors. It claims this would suffice for approximately 35-40 warheads of 4 to 5 kilograms of plutonium per warhead.

    Analyst Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute says he is wary of analyzing the figures of production capabilities based on satellite images.

    Mansoor Ahmed from Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, who specializes in Pakistan’s national deterrent and delivery programs, says this fits into a long pattern of reporting that shows Pakistan has a fast-growing arsenal but one he believes still pales in comparison to India’s.

    He highlights a number of reports, including from the IPFM itself, that show India “is expanding and adding several un-safeguarded facilities in its military nuclear fuel cycle suitable for producing fissile material,” and has the world’s fastest growing nuclear program.

    “These include the rare materials plant centrifuge facility; a second plutonium production reactor; and one 500 megawatt electricity experimental fast breeder reactor. In addition, four reprocessing plants of 350 thm/year [tons of heavy metal per year] are in operation, an industrial-scale 500 thm/year reprocessing plant and another large industrial scale centrifuge enrichment plant are in the pipeline along with four additional” fast breeder reactors by 2020, he said.

    “As of the end of 2013, India’s fissile material stockpiles include 800-1,000 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium from CIRUS and Dhruva-1 production reactors; 2 tons of highly enriched uranium [HEU] from RMP; and 15 tons of weapon-usable reactor-grade plutonium from its pressurized heavy water reactors [PHWRs].”

    He says the significance of these cannot be underestimated.

    “These stocks are outside [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards and are sufficient for producing about 250 warheads from weapon-grade plutonium; 40 warheads from HEU; and 1,875 warheads from reactor-grade plutonium, which was used in one of India’s 1998 nuclear tests” he said.

    Additional capabilities will be added within the next three to five years, he said, that could produce another 171 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium.

    “These figures would add up with existing capacities and would allow India to produce about 100 warheads from weapon-grade plutonium and HEU each year in addition to 50 warheads from one PHWR run on low-burn up,” he said.

    “Even if a fraction of the other seven PHWRs are used to produce fuel for India’s fast breeder reactors as claimed, these can still add another 137 weapons worth of fissile material each year,” he said.

    “Compared to this, Pakistan’s total existing and expected annual fissile material production capacity from four Khushab plutonium production reactors is not more than 46 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium and 100-125 kilograms of weapon-grade HEU, only sufficient for 17 warheads annually.”

    Still, analyst and former air commodore Kaiser Tufail believes Pakistan is reasonably secure.

    “Pakistan’s nuclear triad exploits certain peculiar advantages of each delivery system,” he said.

    “Ground-based mobile missile systems allow dispersion, reducing the success probability of an enemy’s first strike. Submarine-launched missile systems allow a high degree of survivability and can be credibly used for a second strike.”

    He also said that the aircraft delivery method has a flexibility beyond that of other systems.

    “Air-launched bombs/missiles allow a last ditch ultimatum, as the aircraft can be recalled if the adversary backs down,” he said.

    Ultimately, the issue becomes a balance of delivery systems rather than warhead type.

    “The delivery systems are potent enough whether uranium or plutonium based. What is more important is the correct proportion of the three delivery systems so that a comprehensive and credible nuclear triad exists.”

    Joshi is generally of the same opinion, and says that it is unclear how many small/tactical warheads Pakistan needs.

    “We don’t know how many they need and for what purpose. Are they for signaling or war fighting?”

    However, he said, “Pakistan will have no problem in relying on a combination of aircraft and missile delivery systems armed with the heavier uranium based warheads.” ■

    Email: [email protected]


    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140703/DEFREG03/307030021/Third-Pakistani-Nuclear-Reactor-Operational?odyssey=nav%7Chead
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Biz lee phir bhi nahi ati , ki fayada reacter da
     
  4. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    One more target for TTP et al. to work with.
     
  5. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ye bijli ka reactor nahi, atom bomb ka reactor hai.
     
  6. Voldemort

    Voldemort Senior Member Senior Member

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    First produce electricity, then nuclear weapons.
     
  7. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Power grid can’t cope with demand

    ISLAMABAD: The authorities conceded on Thursday that due to obsolete transmission system the national grid was simply incapable of supplying more than 15,000MW of electricity to consumers.

    They also acknowledged that they were resorting to 25-30 per cent of loadshedding at the time of Sehr and Iftar.
     
  8. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Same advice to you, feed the 250+ million hungry mouths, then make nuclear weapons.
     
  9. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    How is this related to weapon grade plutonium complex of Khushab? Those are meant to produce fuel for nukes, not electricity.
     
  10. Voldemort

    Voldemort Senior Member Senior Member

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    First save your airports, air bases and country as a whole from TTP takeover and then produce nukes. No 1 is threatening to take over our country, so we can feed the hungry. And dont say Maoists bcos they are confined to villages.
     
  11. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Replying such a dumb post would be aste of my time and bandwidth.
     
  12. Voldemort

    Voldemort Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, then you just wasted your time and bandwidth hence proved your dumbness.
     
  13. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    How old are you, 12?
     
  14. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maybe this sounds illogical but here is the thing :

    In a country where there is load shedding of 25-30% nationally and with an obsolete power grid, building electricity infra seems to be a good bet rather then nuclear reactor that aids in producing warheads as a deterrence.

    Unless there is some real long term economic benefit to building nuclear reactor for missile heads rather then getting the national electric grid in shape when common citizens can't avail of basic electricity, this seems a bit off.
     
  15. Voldemort

    Voldemort Senior Member Senior Member

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    No 7...........
     
  16. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Agreed, we are facing worst power crisis in our history but should we compromise on our defence in a hostile neighborhood? Can we afford that?

    Why is India building nukes when half your population lacks sanitary facilities and 250+ million mouth go hungry every day? Is water and food less important than elextricity?
     
  17. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    In India, nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity.

    As far as your point about poverty/food/water, here is the poverty trend in India, please put up similar info about how Pakistan has fared related to this.

    [​IMG]

    While you are at it, do also please shed some light on breakdown of Pakistani budget with reference to the following :

    Military allocation
    Allocation to development of civilian amenities
     
  18. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    I made my point and its upto you to accept it or not. We are not discussing electricity or poverty here. Khushab nuclear reacrors are part of a military grade complex. You want discuss poverty, there are already many threads.
     
  19. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Only prioritizing military needs, let civilian developments be damned is what you mean.

    In a country where defence budget triumphs education needs and basic civilian needs, playing the India bogeyman card over and over to justify increasing military budget needs and using that to fund lavish style for military personnel and their families is obvious to everyone.
     
  20. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    No you apply double standards as usual, you play the Sino-Pak bogeymen card to justify your huge weapon imports and neglect the human development. Fyi the percentage of people living under.$2 in India is still higher than in Pakistan.

    Baxk to topic please.
     
  21. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    Again, please put up following info since you are eager to highlight the usual 2$ / day stats for India :

    1) Poverty trend in Pakistan
    2) Military allocation of budget
    3) Civilian allocation of budget

    Since you want to sidestep what is obvious but at same time put facts so confidently about India on development issues, let's play this game.
     

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